In Bungoma County, Kibabii village sits Elisha Wekoya’s poultry farm that hosts over 2,000 chickens. The farmer diverted to poultry farming after quitting teaching, which proved to be a less lucrative venture for him.
“Teaching is stable, but it keeps you in a comfort zone. You can never make wealth from holding such a job. That is why I decided to take a risk and rear chickens,” he said.
Wekoya started small with three layers, which kept increasing to 50, 100, 200, and now 2,000 birds thanks to his childhood knowledge of poultry farming.
”Before I enrolled for my undergraduate class, I could hatch chicks through natural incubation. At first, I managed to get 117 chicks out of 177 eggs and improved with time, getting more and more chicks which I took care of to maturity.” He recalled.
To hone his skills in natural incubation, Wekoya sought guidance from a livestock officer, Mr. Martin Makokha.
His birds are housed in well-structured cages and are released during the day to feed freely on the farm. He notes that the Kienyeji chicken business is very profitable in the region, especially during festive seasons when demand is high.
In one month alone, Wekoya earned Sh350,000 from the sale of birds and eggs, leveraging the heightened demand.
“From the money I get from selling the chicken and eggs, I have managed to educate my children,” he stated.
He notes that costly feeds have been the biggest challenge in his business. To keep the production cost low, Wekoya supplements commercial feed with kitchen waste.
He doubles up as a vegetable farmer and uses chicken droppings to fertilize his traditional vegetables, including saga and amaranth.